Categorized | National News

FNM Hits Back At Businessman

A day after prominent businessman Franklyn Wilson bashed the former Free National Movement (FNM) Government for overspending and the country’s poor economic state, the party’s chairman Darron Cash has jumped to its defence saying that the FNM’s spending was an attempt to save the country from the “brink of disaster.”

Mr. Cash said Mr. Wilson’s statements were a partisan recitation of the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) standard talking points.

“The significant increase in debt that Mr. Wilson and the current Christie administration complain about was absolutely necessary to prevent the death of the Bahamian economy at a time that our largest trading partner, the United States, was experiencing job losses at a rate of several hundred thousand per month,” he said.

“Contrary to press reports, the FNM is in no way and never will be in denial about the significant increases in government spending and debt. It was necessary to avert disaster. The distinction between the FNM in government and the PLP is that after the increase in debt, the FNM is always able to show something tangible as evidence of what we did with the money. Prime Minister Christie cannot say that. And it is clear that he has not changed his wasteful spending ways.”

The FNM chairman said the FNM awarded contracts, especially small business contracts, to everyone on the basis on merit.

The PLP, he said, does not.

He added that at some point, there should be some clear consensus on the Value Added Tax (VAT) system, which is set to be implemented on July 1, 2014.

“The one thing Mr. Wilson said that we can agree on is that it would be in the best interest of the country if the government and opposition could reach agreement on the best approach to tax reform,” he said.

“He and the prime minister have the FNM’s commitment to do just that. But the Christie administration makes it very, very difficult to achieve that ideal; they refuse to take “yes we are prepared to engage in constructive consultation” for an answer. But the FNM will keep trying.”

During his statements [Monday], Mr. Wilson also expressed his disagreements with businessmen that decided to halt their plans because of their insecurities with VAT.

Mr. Cash said Mr. Wilson had no right to do so.

“He is wrong to blame them for acting in their best interests,” he said.

“Like the FNM, these business people do understand and appreciate that we are all in this together. However, neither Mr. Wilson nor the prime minister can fault the FNM, the business community neither Bahamians in general for the tremendous amount of uncertainty that surrounds the implementation of VAT. This preponderance of uncertainty is of the prime minister and Minister Halkitis’ making. They have consistently fumbled the VAT introduction. Now they have run out of time.”

Mr. Cash and the FNM insist that more education on the new tax system must be introduced before it is implemented.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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